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GSW realigns colleges to meet workforce needs of region and propel student success

 

AMERICUS — Georgia Southwestern State University (GSW) recently implemented institutional changes to the school’s academic structure in an effort to improve student success, better align with Georgia’s current and future workforce needs, and increase efficiency.

The reorganization has been under development since December 2018, and was designed to enhance the quality of the University’s academic programs and programming.

“As a prominent university in the Southwest Georgia region, we wanted to organizationally align ourselves with the local economy and the workforce needs of our region,” said GSW President Neal Weaver, Ph.D. “We want to be efficient, all while providing high-quality educational opportunities for students, keeping tuition low, and ensuring faculty and staff are appropriately organized and supported.”

Within academics, the School of Computing and Mathematics was split into two areas, with the mathematics program joining the College of Arts and Sciences. The computer science program joined the School of Business Administration to form the new College of Business and Computing. The School of Education also became the College of Education, bringing GSW to four academic colleges — the exercise science program joined the School of Nursing to form the College of Nursing and Health Sciences last year.

“We wanted to leverage the strength of colleges, resources, and accomplishments to help move the institution forward” stated Suzanne Smith, Ph.D., provost and vice president for Academic Affairs. “I am optimistic this new structure will keep student success at the forefront. We are committed to making the transition as smooth as possible for students, faculty and staff.”

Liz Wilson, Ph.D., dean of the College of Business and Computing, is pleased to welcome computing to her area. “We feel this change brings opportunities for synergies between computer information/computer science and the business disciplines for new ways to serve students and our region. Both groups of faculty members are excited for this new chapter and the possibilities for collaboration between the disciplines. We look forward to exploring new programs and projects that will be made possible because of this merger. As our society becomes more and more technology focused, the expertise and energy that computing brings to the table will provide new avenues to blend our talents towards ensuring our graduates are ready to take their new careers by storm.”

Departments within the College of Arts and Sciences have seen changes in 2019, as well. The Department of Music and the Department of Theater, Communication & Media Arts merged to form the Department of Music and Dramatic Arts. The Department of Chemistry and the Department of Geology and Physics also merged to form the new Department of Chemistry, Geology & Physics. Despite these administrative changes, the individual academic tracks and programs remain the same.

A number of offices were also unified under the new Division of Advancement, including Alumni Affairs, Annual Giving, and University Relations. The GSW Foundation also works closely with the Division to support the University’s advancement.